Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- This game features two teams in the top seven in yards allowed per game and two of the top nine in points allowed per game.
- Both teams are two of the bottom five offenses in pace of play.
- Lions RB David Montgomery has yet to practice this week and appears unlikely to go in Week 7 after suffering a nasty rib injury in Week 6.
- The Ravens are relatively healthy if you discount JK Dobbins’ season-ending injury from early in the year, with just LB Odafe Oweh and S Marcus Williams not practicing this week (as of Thursday).
- The Lions have shown a propensity to alter their offensive game plan and game management relative to what the opponent gives them, while the Ravens have remained stagnant in their offensive approach, really not altering a thing unless the opponent forces them to do so – these are two very different approaches in digging beyond the top-level stats.
How detroit Will Try To Win ::
The Lions are now able to run the offense they have wanted to run for some time under head coach Dan Campbell, which starts with their defense. Their slow pace of play (30th-ranked 30.3 seconds per play) combined with a run-balanced approach and a defense that is now a legitimate top-five unit has allowed them to grind out games when required. That said, they are coming off a Week 6 win over the pass-funnel Buccaneers, where they proved they could win through the air when required as well, a game that marked their highest pass rate over expectation (PROE) value of the season on the backs of 44 pass attempts and just 22 team rush attempts. The Ravens pulled into first in net yards allowed per pass attempt after the Browns took on the 49ers this past week, holding opponents to just 4.0 yards per pass attempt this season. Strangely enough, they now present more of a run-funnel matchup than in previous seasons. David Montgomery’s likely absence this week dents that potential plan of attack a smidge, but we should expect the Lions to primarily take what their opposition gives them. Furthering that notion are the above-average man coverage rates from the Ravens, against which Josh Reynolds is actually the leading pass-catcher for the Lions with an 87.5 receiving grade (per PFF) and 0.67 fantasy points per route run against man (per PFF).
It’s difficult to say what to expect from a likeliest scenario from the Lions run game here, considering David Montgomery is likely to miss Week 7, Jahmyr Gibbs has yet to be trusted with a full workload and is coming off injury (limited in both sessions this week so far), and Craig Reynolds is coming off injury (limited in both sessions this week so far). The best guess here is a backfield tandem split between Reynolds and Gibbs, likely closely mirroring the team’s Week 3 split in snaps at a 60-30 rate. The volume expectation is more fragile for this backfield as a whole than we would otherwise expect from a run-balanced offense, considering their tendency to attack an opposition’s deficiencies paired with the fact that both Reynolds and Gibbs are largely unproven at the NFL level. Finally, the Ravens have allowed just one rushing score all season and have held opposing backfields to 4.0 yards per carry on the ground.
The pass offense is rounding into form after the return of Jameson Williams and the breakout of rookie tight end Sam LaPorta. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, and LaPorta should be the only near-every-down pass-catchers on a weekly basis, with Kalif Raymond, Marvin Jones Jr (lolz), and Williams sharing the remaining snaps as things currently stand. We expect Williams to take over a more robust downfield role eventually, but it remains to be seen if or when that will occur. As mentioned above, none of these players have been truly elite against man coverage this season, with Reynolds leading the way on a per-route basis. Even so, the Ravens are still in zone coverage on 68 percent of their defensive snaps, meaning the elite traits of St. Brown and LaPorta against zone coverage can still translate to success in this spot. Nothing here leaps off the page, but the talent of some of these pieces can always win out in a difficult spot like this.